Mango propagation can either be vegetative or by seed.
Steps to Raising Healthy Mangoes by seed.
- Choose healthy well-ripened mango fruits of the variety you desire.
- Eat the fleshy part of the fruit leaving behind the hard seed.
- Wash the hard mango seed thoroughly and dry the hard seed for 2-3 days.
- Remove the hard woody endocarp to examine the seed for disease or any damage caused by the mango weevil (Sternochetus).
- Sow the seeds in a polythene tube, or seedling tray that is filled with soil mixed with manure at a ratio of 1:1
- Protect the sown mango seeds from high temperatures.
- After 30-45 days, your mango seed will germinate.
Propagating Mango Vegetatively
As you may be aware, vegetative propagation of mangoes involves using parts of a mature mango plant to produce other new plants. In this propagation of mango technique, we encourage cuttings from the mother plant to form roots. When cuttings form roots, automatically the cuttings form new independent plants. This method of propagation is advantageous. Why? The cuttings often inherit all the good qualities of the mother plant.
To make a cutting yield even more than the mother plant, the cutting (scion) is often grafted on a rootstock of a very vigorous mango variety. Another advantage of grafting Mango than just directly propagating them Vegetatively is that grafted mangoes on selected rootstocks remain smaller than the rootstock, and bear better and earlier.
Selection of Rootstock for Mango Propagation
The selection of suitable rootstock is as important as the selection of the scion cultivar. The rootstock often has a strong influence on the growth, yield, fruit maturity and soil adaptability, among other things on the mango scion.
In Kenya, the seeds of the polyembryonic cultivars such Sabre, Peach, and Dodo are routinely used as rootstock. The seeds for rootstocks must be taken from ripe fruits and should be as fresh as possible at the time of planting. Before planting, the freshly sown seeds should be protected from high temperatures and desiccation by providing shade. Once seedlings emerge the shade is removed to harden the plants and produce a sturdy stem for grafting.
Once the seeds have germinated, the seedlings are carefully lifted and culled.
This may be about one month after planting when they have reached the 3-5-red-leaf stage.
After transplanting the seedlings into containers not smaller than 18 x 35 cm they remain there until they are of pencil thickness at about 20 cm above soil level.
Grafting mango seedlings
There are many techniques used to graft mango seedlings, but the most common methods are side-graft, side veneer and wedge- and whip-graft. The most popular grafting technique is wedge grafting. Other methods used to rejuvenate old trees or change from one variety to another is top working.
The top-working of mango fruit trees is a normal orchard practice. It is a necessary mango propagation technique meant to replace old cultivars/seedlings with improved selections. Top-worked trees will start bearing within 2-3 years, i.e. much earlier than a newly planted tree
Transplanting a mango seedling
Whether you raise a mango tree from seed, or through grafting, you must never be transplant it while it is flushing or when the leaves are still tender. The best time to transplant mango is after the second flush has hardened.